Friday, December 25, 2009

A health care promise to believe in

Because it is the day on which we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, Christmas is a time of great joy which we mark with a special spirit of generosity as we seek to honor with our gifts the generous gift of life represented to the world by the birth of Jesus Christ. It is a time when we strive with more than usual intensity to follow the advice of the apostle, to put off all

"…anger, wrath, malice, slander and foul talk from your mouth. Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old nature with its practices; and have put on the new nature, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator. Here there cannot be Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave and free: but Christ is all, and in all.

Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassion, kindness, lowliness, meekness, and patience, forbearing one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts. (Colossians 3:8-15)

In this good counsel we see epitomized all that our gifts and ornaments, our special Christmas acts of charity, forgiveness and love are meant to express. We see the Christ in Christmas.

Of course, "the rest of the story" of Christmas includes the account of a very different spirit, one that momentous political events during this Christmas season inevitably bring to mind. In the aftermath of Christ's birth, wise men came in search of him, asking "Where is he that is born King of the Jews?" Fearing that this portended both the end of his kingly reign and the removal of the succession from his descendants, Herod, the king of Judaea, sent for these men and "sent them to Bethlehem, saying, 'Go and search diligently for the child and when you have found him bring me word, that I too may come and worship him.'" But after they found the Christ child and honored him with gifts and worship, "warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they departed to their own country by another way."

Then Herod, when he saw that he had been tricked by the wise men, was in a furious rage, and he sent and killed all the male children in Bethlehem, and in all that region, who were two years old or under, according to the time which he had ascertained from the wise men. Then was fulfilled that which was spoken by the prophet Jeremiah: "A voice was heard in Ramah, wailing and loud lamentation, Rachel weeping for her children; she refused to be consoled, because they were no more."(Matthew 2:16-18)

Though the birth of Christ inspires our goodwill to unite in forgiveness and love, it has a very different effect on those preoccupied with consolidating human power. They know that Christ's birth represents a threat to their vaulting ambition. They respond to that threat with an effort to slay all innocence in order to put down the hope of innocent life Christ offers to all humanity.

In recent weeks America's elected leaders in Congress have been debating what is supposed to be a bill to reform the nation's health care sector. Its proponents pretend that their intent is better to serve life by extending health services to people in need. But their true intent has been revealed by the sly maneuvers and corrupt practices they have used to enforce their insistence that, come what may, the supposed health reform act must include U.S. government funding for child murder. Though, like Herod, they cloak their real intent, this insistence reveals their true priority. Their chief aim is not to assure all America access to health services. It is to make all Americans complicit in the slaughter of the innocents. Though their deceptive slogan speaks of choice, in the moral realm they are insisting that Americans who reject the absurd notion of a right to murder our posterity shall have no choice but to see the fruits of their labor used to reward a practice they rightly regard as an abomination.

This Christmastide I am praying that the true spirit of Christmas will prevail in the counsels of our nation. I am praying that, despite the bribes and threats of those who give top priority to murder, the heart of Christ will truly be born again in the hearts of enough representatives in Congress to put a halt to the charade of evil which claims to serve our nation's health but aims in fact to destroy its healthy conscience and goodwill. With such courage, they will offer their nation a gift truly in keeping with the gift of God we celebrate: the birth of the one whose triumph over death renews, despite all evil human willing, God's offer of more abundant life for all. That's a health care promise to believe in.



Tom Degan's Daily Rant said...

These so-called "Christian" politicians (and one "observant" Jew) have done everything humanly possible to see to it that the lives of the American people will be held hostage by the big insurance and pharmaceutical companies forever - or until a revolution comes along. Not much is going to change in the meantime - and it will be a very mean time, I assure you. We will continue to die two years younger than they do in Europe. We will continue to have one of the highest infant mortality rates in the industrialized world. Have yourselves a merry little Christmas.

We celebrate the birth of the Prince of Peace while waging two senseless wars at such a safe distance from our shores, most of us don't even bother to pay attention to them. We will continue to throw away our national treasure on the military industrial complex while the well being of our children is gambled away in the plutocracy's crap game. We are a nation addicted to weapons of war. Let's face it, that's never going to change. If tomorrow our armaments industry ceased to be, the entire American economy would implode before sundown. So much hypocrisy. So little space. Santa Claus is coming to town.

"Blessed are the peacemakers.
for they shall be called sons of God."

Jesus of Nazareth

Oh, and did I mention that I hate Santa Claus? I really do, you know. I say this without any fear of coal in my stocking. You see, I haven't received a thing from the hideous old freak since 1966. That was the year I spiked his hot cocoa with a generous portion of Old Granddad. Santa, although a rather large person, doesn't hold his alcohol too well. I found this out the hard way. After leaving our presents under the tree, he took off from the roof or our home and crashed into the Finkle house across the street. Two reindeer were killed. Horrible carnage.

To boil it down to the unpleasant essentials, although I love the story of the nativity and the true meaning of Christmas, I'm beginning to despise the Christmas holiday - but that's just me. This year I am afflicted with Grinch Syndrome. Or might you call it, "Scrooge Disorder"? The problem is that I am - and always have been - at heart, an angry person. I try to cover up that rage with a facade of silliness, but that's basically who I am. As Frank Sinatra once sang in the very last recording he made for Columbia Records in 1952, "Don't try to change me now."

Tom Degan

Anonymous said...

And a very healthy and merry Christmas to you, Dr. Keyes.

May the miracle birth of our Lord, Jesus Christ, spare us from the evil and tyranny that will exist if this so-called health care reform bill passes into law, despite a majority of americans being against it.

I pray that our Heavenly Father protect our Constitutional Republic and keep us free from the path towards communism that this current Administration is striving for.

Anonymous said...

I do not know why Christ's mercy is extended unto such as I. This gift being given, what more shall I desire?

Whatever the Lord provides, that will I accept.

Sallyven said...

Lately, I often find myself thinking about Revelations and the end times. I've wondered about "the mark of the beast", and had always imagined some sort of dramatic scene where a Christian could openly and defiantly reject it. But now, look at this. Buried in a bill, soon to become just part of a monthly premium, paid by every American under the government insurance.

I am self-employed, and have a private plan. Once that insurer goes out of business under this reform, or my plan isn't "approved", I will have to enroll in the government plan. And if I don't, I will pay a penalty, which will still go into the treasury that funds abortions. Or, I suppose I will be fined until I am either bankrupted or imprisoned. It would certainly be easier to just "go with the flow".

The Mark? I wonder.

nra1776 said...

Mr. Keyes is absoutely right when he asserts that the government, through health care reform, is attempting to make "...all Americans complicit in the slaughter of innocents." Additionally, the government is attempting to add a layer of legitimacy to the slaughter that the law itself cannot; i.e. the legitimacy gained from the American People themselves, via congress.

chatstack said...

While I agree this "health care reform" is unconstitutional as well as the indebtedness it will incur, if and when it indeed has fully passed, and looks like it will. I also have to ask, don't most insurance companies already pay for abortions? Where was the outrage of our Christian leaders back then? And if so, aren't many Americans already funding abortion on demand when we purchase insurance? We personally take whatever insurance my husband's company offers when it is reasonably priced and I'm sure many others do so regardless of their convictions on abortion. This leads to the larger point; isn't it unconstitutional to force someone against their religious convictions, to purchase insurance? There are some religions and Christian denominations that forbid such practises. And my biggest point of contention in the debate is, where was the outrage and protest from the pro-life and/or Christian community, when the Democrats were expanding abortion funding in the early weeks of Obama's alleged presidency? With all due respect I didn't see any Manhattan Declaration from Dr.Dobson back then. And it is easy for Dr.Dobson to sign a declaration that he won't pay taxes if the health care overhaul (socialized medicine) includes abortion. He has a boatload of money for attorney fees if he is arrested for not paying taxes and he also can leave the country being as he can afford to leave any time he wants while the rest of us rot. One of the many reasons I didn't sign the Manhatten Declaration besides the fact that Dobson also endorsed Mit Romney who was pro-abortion during his governorship.

Anonymous said...

You're speaking out of both sides of your mouth here.

Yeah, I already regard the current national government as utterly lacking in legitimacy, I don't pay taxes and I refuse to comply with any illegal demands of the goverment. So I can talk about how Dobson et al are a little late off the mark...if I like.

Beware of adopting the position that holds past imperfection as a pretext for disparaging present virtue. I say this as one who neither has nor seeks mercy. You think to obtain clemancy by pointing out the failures of others, but that is just not how it works. Men are not justified by their own deeds, far less by the faults they can find in others.

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